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Stranger donates kidney to 2 yr old girl
A little girl's life is being saved by the power of social media.
"I had no faith that we'd find a kidney donor on Facebook but I sure as heck was going to try," Ashley Booth, mother of 2-year-old Arianna Moore, told GoodMorningAmerica.com.
Arianna has needed a kidney transplant since being diagnosed with Diffuse Mesangial Sclerosis right after birth. The disease is scarring her kidneys.
"At seven weeks old she became sick and her kidneys completely failed," said Booth, 27, of Pine City, Minn. "Hers happened faster than usual. Usually it progresses really slowly."
Tiny Arianna has been on dialysis for 10 hours a day, every single day, for the majority of her life. But all that is about to change, thanks to a complete stranger who lives 1,500 miles away from the family.
When Christy Harding, of Jacksonville, Fla., came across the ALL4MOORE Facebook page that was supporting and following Arianna through her difficult health journey, she felt compelled to do something to help.
"One of my friends shared one of Arianna's pictures and it showed up on my timeline," said Harding, who has a 2-year-old daughter herself. "For some reason, I stopped and started thinking about it, and I just knew I had to make a phone call."
She contacted the living donor center at Arianna's children's hospital to make sure her type-O blood would be a match and, fortunately for the little girl, Harding was a perfect donor.
"Christy emailed me to let me know she was the one donating," Booth said. "I was in tears reading her email to me. It was pretty crazy. All I can do is cry every time I think about it."
Despite having never met, Harding and Arianna, the lucky recipient of her kidney, are both undergoing surgery on May 7 in Minneapolis.
"I think if anyone was faced with the decision saying, 'Hey, you could save somebody's life,' I don't know many people who wouldn't," said Harding, 37, of her easy decision to donate. "We knew that if this were our 2-year-old, we would hope someone would do the same."
Courtesy Ashley BoothIn addition to saving Arianna's life, however, Harding still had another surprise in store for the family. She set up a Go Fund Me page dedicated to raising money to send the Minnesota family to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., an experience Harding believes every family with young children should have.
"My family and I are big Disney fans," she said. "We are blessed enough to have season passes and take trips down there often. I know living in Minnesota, it's not the same for them. I made the assumption this isn't something they'd be able to do, but every child should have the chance."
In just one day of the page being created, $1,000 has already been raised towards the overall $12,000 goal.
"The outpouring of support has just been overwhelming," said Harding.
And as for Booth, she cannot even begin to fathom the kindness her family is receiving from a complete stranger.
"It's so amazing. We haven't even met her yet," said Booth. "I cannot wait for next Monday. I don't know if I'll be able to let of go of her once I hug her."